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june 2000
Have you signed up for the Hunger Site Newsletter yet? It''s sent periodically, you can unsubscribe at any time, and for each new registrant they'll make a donation of 5 cups of food towards their goal of donating 1/2 million cups of food during June. Make your regular donation and then click the button below the map to sign up. 06/01/00

Rebecca Predicts: You're going to be skeptical about this item. But open up your mind just a little bit and consider this: the Astrologer's Fund has combined traditional financial forecasting methods with good old-fashioned astrology for an impressive track record.

A number of prestigious financial journals have documented the accuracy of Weingartenís public forecasts. In addition to the 1987 crash, Weingarten predicted the downturn of Japanese stocks in 1989; the start of the Gulf War in 1990; the Mexican financial crises in the mid-1990s; and the difficult start for the euro, the European currency which debuted in January 1999.

Seattle (thanks, J!) 06/01/00

Outdoorsman Jim Brook went on a little excursion and found a field of rare meteorites containing stardust grains that predate the solar system. 06/01/00

Public urination is such a problem in Rio de Janiero that officials have begun spraying public areas with perfume. 06/01/00

British scientists are staking out Hampton Palace to scientifically determine whether the strange experiences tourists report are really caused by the ghost of Catherine Howard. 06/01/00

Weasel 06/01/00

So I guess that missile theory isn't as wacked out as the government would have had us believe.... 06/01/00

Aid workers caring for young Chechnyan refugees are encouraging the children to use art as a means to tell their stories and, eventually, to heal.

She shows a series of drawings done by nine-year-old Zareta. In the early drawings the girl's home, a village farmhouse, is a charred wreck and several family members are lying dead outside. But by the 10th version the girl has drawn an underground bomb shelter, and her family is depicted as safely hiding inside.

'That's a huge victory,' says [psychologist] Khaduyeva. 'However horrible the things she has gone through, she has worked them out. She has allowed herself to hope.'
(via the excellent Guardian weblog) 06/02/00

'Genetic researchers reported today that they have sped up the growth of a plant by making its cells split faster, a technique that could lead to heartier crops, shorter growing seasons and less use of herbicides.' 06/02/00

Step parents: they're not evil anymore! 06/02/00

In her 1961 book 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities,' Jane Jacobs challenged current urban renewal theory by arguing for human-scale neighborhoods that promoted community. In this interview she speaks for the value of the generalist in our specialized culture, posits that aesthetic sense is essential to human survival, and cautions us to beware the mega-project.

The other optimistic thing is that human capital is amazing in a difference it has from other natural resources: The more you use it, the more you have, because experience, cleverness, improve with use.

Sierra Pacific Industries, the second-largest landholder in the United States, has a brilliant new plan: abandon selective logging, clearcut their forests, and plant tree plantations. 06/02/00

Mon Dieu! News: A horrified nation watches as more and more French directors choose to make their films in English. 06/02/00

In a world in which every taboo is openly flaunted, what will humans push into the closet?

I am here to announce the good news. The closet is not empty. While itís true that weíve taken everything formerly repressed out of it, itís been quietly filling with other furnishings, namely 'the angels of our better nature,' as Lincoln called them. ...I am certain that they will be paradoxical, like a young person tattooed from head to foot with the poetry of Lao Tzu or verses from the 'Song of Songs.' The virtues of tomorrow, unlike the virtues of yore, will be inspiring shape-shifters whose purpose, in addition to saving us, will be to baffle the certainties and absolutisms of ideologues everywhere.

A new study suggests that adult brain stem cells may be used to create other organs, eliminating the moral and ethical concerns about using embryonic stem cells for these purposes. 06/05/00

'Archaeologists scouring the Mediterranean seabed announced today they have found the 2,500-year-old ruins of submerged Pharaonic cities that until now were known only through Greek tragedies, travelogues and legends.' 06/05/00

Why do you never hear about grrl hackers? Well, there are very few of them, for starters. And those who exist often are interested in achieving a purpose, not just breaking into a forbidden machine.

The female hackers say theyíre interested in technology for what it is or what it does, not so they can break it and watch people suffer.... 'I really abhor most of the crimes. I find them petulant and, yes, more male than female. I find nothing clever about dismantling an individualís system.'

Loud candy wrappers: explained. 06/05/00

Underlying Microsoft's dominance in the software market is a largely unspoken concern that computer software shapes how it's users think about and react to the tasks before them.

A rising number of educators and experts warn that software not only controls how a computer performs its increasingly sophisticated workload but that it also channels the way people think, write and work in ways that stifle creativity and groundbreaking thought. Microsoftís market position exacerbates this troubling trend, they say, while it also lowers consumer expectations of what computers can do.

Information wants to be safe. 06/05/00

The Glanford power station in Lincolnshire, is producing electricity by incinerating the remains of cattle feared to carry mad cow disease. 06/05/00

Worldwide Web Headquarters for Burrito and Burrito-related Information, featuring, of course, Burrito-Analysis. 06/05/00

Get on board the Lady Bus. 06/06/00

It seems there really are morning people and night people. The difference? Morning people's internal cycles run on a 24 hour cycle, while night-owls' cycles are longer. 06/06/00

While undeniably there are people out there trying to trick Network Solutions into tranferring domain ownership, doesn't this article take a pretty relaxed attitude toward the fact that it is this easy to manage? Why isn't the press focusing on Network Solutions and their shoddy policies and procedures? If someone persuaded a bank to transfer money from one account to another merely by sending a fax, do you think the focus of the article would be on the thieves or on the lousy bank? 06/06/00

'Endangered manatees are dying at the rate of one a day, according to the Florida government. To protect the rare sea mammals from lethal collisions with boats, the state has stepped up enforcement of speed restrictions in manatee habitat.' 06/06/00

Probably no update until Monday. Sorry. I'm out having a life. 06/07/00

Jewelry Diplomacy 06/07/00

American tourist George Cunningham was wandering the Egyptian desert looking for fossils when he came upon 'an interesting looking wall' containing cave drawings that could date back to 7000 BC. 06/07/00

Geckos' toes contain thousands of tiny hairs containing hundreds of tiny pads that enable them to walk on any surface, even in a vacuum. Scientists are studying the animal hoping to invent the next generation of tape: reusable, self-cleaning, and based on gecko technology. 06/01/00

I've updated gothica. It's not done, but it's a start. 06/07/00

More Female Transport News: A fleet of female-only cabs created to provide safe transport for women and their families hit the streets in the United Arab Emirates yesterday, creating a new profession for women in the region, and perhaps providing new role models for Khokha, star of the Egyptian Sesame Street. 06/07/00

Not the seahorses! 06/07/00

Probably no update until Monday. Sorry. I'm out having a life. 06/07/00

Good service: good deed. 06/12/00

Tradition Bad: Craft Associations in Germany control vocational training and licensing, threatening to undercut the nation's entrance into the New Economy. Sounds a little bit like Microsoft and Novell to me. (Thanks, Lizard!) 06/12/00

Tradition Good: Japanese youth return to traditional carpentry. 06/12/00

George Sand Redux: grrl hackers part II 06/12/00

Sending an email with a pen and paper? Get ready for the new world. It doesn't rely on monitors. (Thanks, Lizard!) 06/12/00

And what a life it was. :) For one thing, I got to sit on the Pyra couch. It just doesn't get any better than that. 06/12/00

'The Writers Guild of America has drawn up a first-of-its-kind standardized contract for screenwriters to use when hired to create programming for the Internet. 06/13/00

What did the Neanderthal eat? Meat. 06/13/00

Hey, this looks neat: the Collapse-It. 06/12/00

DNA testing promises to make law enforcement cut-and-dried...or does it? 06/13/00

The World Health Organization weighs in on drug-resistant disease. 0613/00

Regular update tomorrow. Go visit bird on a wire, blogit, and guardian weblog today. 06/14/00

Don't forget to put your father's day card in the mail today. 06/14/00

This week has spun into extreme busyness. I will update as I can. Meanwhile, please check out my portal for a selection of fine web entertainment. 06/15/00

Yesterday at the height of the San Francisco record heat (103 degrees) we found a fledgling on the sidewalk (HOT!) in front of our apartment. We brought it inside, gave it some water, and thanks to the bird section of the wonderful Wildlife Care website, we knew to place the bird in a small container (tip: if it's a very hot day and your container is plastic, add some shredded up paper for insulation) and place it back in the tree so that the mother could come to take care of it. It was a happy, happy afternoon watching the mother feed the little bird as I attended to the business at hand. By evening, both were gone.

This is a concrete example of the way in which the web is not only improving quality of life for people, but for the world. I wouldn't have known what to do for the poor little thing. Thanks to the web, I was able to save its life. At the grocer's last night I briefly considered buying a lottery ticket--it was clearly a lucky day. I elected not to. I had already been given a rare opportunity and gift. Why get greedy with blessings?

I'm linking this resource permanently on my domestic page. 06/15/00

Clearlandmines.com works similarly to The Hunger Site: with a click you can donate money to Canadian Landmine Foundation. It's on the left. Do it now. (via metafilter) 06/19/00

Arcane Politics News: An anonymous senator has submitted a bill apparently designed to benefit a pharmaceutical maker, and believed to be destined to be attached to unrelated legislation.

It will effectively have been legislated without any legislators other than the anonymous sponsor being fully aware of it, or itís implications, Mann says.

Oh, ick. A dung-spitting contest. 06/19/00

I just found cbsnews.com. I like the fact that their ads are clearly denoted by the words 'sponsored by' or 'ad info' (while unnecesssary, I feel this adds to their credibility as a news organization by clearly drawing the line between news and ads). I'm impressed with their use of bold for all quotes in stories (I'm actually just impressed that they're trying to use bold to increase readability at all.) I am puzzled, though, by their lack of a search function. 06/19/00

Minneapolis museum visitor sits on Ming Dynasty chair, breaks it. 06/19/00

WHO is a little concerned about the three children who contracted smallpox after playing with empty smallpox vials they found in the garbage. 06/20/00

Point/Counterpoint: Chris Keup, Why Napster will hurt musicians; Courtney Love, Why Napster can only help musicians. 06/20/00

Are Americans oversexed? Yes. Are the Brits good lovers? Yes. Italians? Nope. 06/20/00

Good News: Click for a Cause is now providing a search page that includes google, altavista, goto, and whowhere. Each search provides six servings of food to a hungry person. I'm linking it permanently under directories. Same great taste, now jam-packed with essential nutrients in every search. 06/20/00

Did you know that you can go shopping through the Hunger Site? Each dollar you spend through their affiliate program provides a cup of food to the World Food Programme at no extra cost to you. Right now I'm waiting on delivery of my order from Whole People and Pets.com (save $10 on your order through this link). In fact, when you sign up for their newsletter, you'll receive word of specials like that one (and this week from j crew, rei, and others) and help them reach their June goal of donating an additional 1/2 million cups of food. 06/20/00

Disgusting News: BT has discovered that it invented the hyperlink, and now it wants to license ISPs for its use. Is there anyone left in the world who isn't interested in reaming every little bit of cash out of any avenue it can find? 06/20/00

Does anyone know of an honest, reliable Subaru mechanic in San Francisco? I'll be eternally grateful if you can point me in the right direction. 06/20/00

You say you want a revolution? 06/20/00

Jesse James Garrett has created a wonderful bookmarklet (linked to the left) that will open the Hunger Site, Click for a Cause, The Rainforest Site, and Clear Landmines in separate windows for you with one click. Just go to each, click to donate, and close the window. Drag the link that says "do some good" to the personal toolbar on your browser and doing good will be as convenient as can be. 06/21/00

Home food handling practices in America: appalling 06/21/00

In 1915 a Jewish businessman was hanged by a mob for a crime he did not commit. Now a list naming the murderers has been posted on the internet. While there is great value in openly acknowledging any injustice (if so mild a word can be applied to a murder), posting these names is not enough. It serves only to hurt the innocent descendants and provides no avenue for healing. There needs to be a next step. Perhaps a memorial service at which descendants of the victim and murderers, the Jewish community, and the community at large can acknowledge and mourn together this horrible crime, the memory of which must hurt all those now alive. (Thanks, J!) 06/21/00

Toronto's 'Moose in the City' campaign has some some people upset: they claim it's sexist. I have a question: if women are excluded from something dumb, isn't that sort of a good thing? 06/21/00

A quarter of the new drugs now being developed by pharmaceuticals are antidepressants. I am well acquainted with the debilitating effects of depression and fully support the development of any means to relieve the terrible suffering of those who are afflicted with this disease. But when so many of us are so afflicted I have to ask myself if there is something about the way we live that is exacerbating this problem? And are doctors prescribing drugs to treat the symptom of larger cultural/societal problems? Are we, to some extent, trying to medicate ourselves into being happy, productive members of society? People with money (upper-middle class and up) are obviously buying these drugs or the pharmaceutical companies wouldn't expend so many resources in producing them. 06/21/00

Malaria is still a problem around the world. Best solved, I guess, but building a better mosquito 06/22/00

Remember the man-eating lions in The Ghost and the Darkness? Could be they just had tremendous toothaches. 06/22/00

Drug-resistant bacteria are increasingly a problem, but there is one thing that seems to help: washing your hands. 06/22/00

Do as I say, and not as I do. 06/22/00

Medical Advances Compensating for Societal Ills News: Hello Medical Residents! Hello High-Tech Industry workers! Hello Ravers Everywhere! 06/22/00

Auditors say that the Department of Agriculture's meat inspection system needs considerable improvement. (more here)

Plants are shipping products to consumers without testing for specific pathogens like E. coli O157:H7 or Listeria monocytogenes even after tests for generic versions of those bacteria are positive, the report found. And plants aren't testing at all for some major pathogens such as campylobacter, the auditors said.

The men who knew too much. 06/26/00

In the year 1000 AD, Leifur Eiriksson became the first European to reach the New World, which he called Vinland; 1000 years later, one of his descendants has built a Viking ship and is sailing it from Iceland to the new world.

We trust the ship completely and if we treat it right, which we are all well prepared to do, we have nothing to worry about. The ship will come through just fine, Iím sure, and except for the ice off Greenland there is nothing to worry about.

'New York, under a legislative agreement reached Monday, would become the first state in the nation to require homeowners to post warning flags to alert their neighbors when they use pesticides on their lawns.' 06/26/00

Marcia Angell, outgoing editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, says that the pharmaceutical industry is greedy, privileged, and out of control.

'Over the past few years the pharmaceutical industry as a whole has been by far the most profitable industry in the United States' with profit margins for the top 10 drugs averaging a 'stunning' 30 percent, and overall profits at about 18.6 percent, she said. Banking ranked second at 15.8 percent.

Not only is much of the basic drug research funded by the U.S. government, said Angell, 'the industry also enjoys great tax advantages. Not only are its research and development costs deductible, but so are its massive marketing expenses.'

Yikes! Is marijuana gentler on the body than tobacco? In fact, research shows that marijuana smoke deposits four times as much tar in the respiratory tract as a comparable amount of tobacco, THC can lower resistance to both bacterial and viral infections, and may promote the growth of tumors. 06/26/00

So, this software consultant wanted a job for a slot machine manufacturer, but when they offered him a fifth of his asking price he began publicizing a little glitch he had found in their software, one that would allow an individual to empty the machine on a regular basis, and so of course they got mad and took him to court.... 06/27/00

Vitamin News: Are environmental factors causing an increase in cancer? Scientists think the problem may actually be a lack of vitamins and minerals.

People, when they think of cancer, they think of chemicals in the water or pesticide residue. I just think itís all a distraction ... If you donít get your vitamins C and E, it is like irradiating yourself.

You may know that Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas are getting married in September. It seems that Ms. Zeta-Jones wants a prenuptial agreement giving her $4.5 million in alimony for each year she's married to Mr. Douglas in case they divorce, plus a house; he has offered $1.5 million a year and the use of one of his houses.

'This is just tearing her apart,' a friend of Zeta-Jones told The Sun. 'She isn't money-grabbing. ... She just doesn't want to feel like she's getting a raw deal.'
Yes, ummm ... can anyone explain this story to me? 06/27/00

British researchers have found that one in six girls in Britain are showing signs of puberty as early as age 8. 06/27/00

Sinead O'Connor Sexuality Update 'Not in a box of any description,' indeed. 06/27/00

'I love you'. 06/28/00

And you thought the Clintons were bad. 06/28/00

Three cheers for the Queen Mum! 06/28/00

Save the World News: If you're in need of a break, you'd like to experience a different culture first-hand, and you still dream of leaving the world a better place than when you arrived, you may be interested in this: volunteer vacations. 06/28/00

If you're looking to go out with a splash, $48,000 will get you mummified. 06/28/00

I guess I'd like to eat here once and see what that's all about. 06/28/00

Ramblin, ramblin', ramblin', ramblin', ramblin' cat 06/29/00

The promise of aquaculture has been that it will reduce or contain pressure on our oceans. Reality? It increases it. 06/29/00

Breast News: Line Oexnevad, professional mermaid. 06/29/00

Thirteen years ago, Yang Hui Shan retired from acting to become a glass sculptor. She chose for her medium an intricate 12-step process called pate-de-verre, originated 2,000 years ago during China's Han Dynasty. 06/29/00

I have the script for the next Bruce Willis film right here, and it's a doozy. 06/28/00

While natural disasters are striking at an alarming rate, and relief efforts focus on relieving the suffering of those so afflicted, preventable diseases are killing far, far more people. 06/29/00

A new technology which can make a convincing digital copy of anyone is being described as 'frightening' and 'skin-crawling,' but the only problem I can see is in regard to ransom tapes and politicians.... 06/29/00

comments? questions? rebecca blood

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